Lady Cats tie back-to-back games at North Richland Hills
From Staff Reports

March 21, 2005 - NORTH RICHLAND HILLS - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats came out of the Arlington Spring Break Classic with another tie on Saturday, their second in their last two games, but head coach John McCullough didn't let that put a damper on his enthusiasm for their success in the tournament.

"We had a great weekend. The only disappointment was that we weren't able to finish games," he said, pointing to the final two games in which the opposing teams tied the games in their last at-bat.

"In our two bracket games, we had a grand total of two errors and four strikeouts, and those are two areas we've been focusing on - limiting errors and strikeouts. We had great defense, so now we just need to finish the game."

In their final game against China Springs, the Lady Cats got their run in the fifth when senior Stephanie Kethley led off the inning with a double and was sacrificed by second by classmate Tanna Lampp. Then, with two outs, junior shortstop Tara Gibby doubled down the left field line, driving in Kethley.

Sophomore center fielder Kristen McDonald followed with a single of her own, but the Lady Cats were unable to plate another run.

In the sixth, China Springs pushed across a run of their own, but freshman pitcher Marci Womack left the bases loaded as the game ended in a tie. China Springs advanced in the bracket on the tie-breaker of more batters sent to the plate.

"I think that's the fifth time we've lost on tie-breakers in that tournament," McCullough said, "and I've told the director how much I hate that rule."

Lampp started on the mound, and she and Womack combined to toss a seven-hitter with no walks and two strikeouts.

At catcher, Kethley threw out a would-be base stealer in the fifth, and McCullough praised the play of senior Ne-Ne Hynson at third base.

The Lady Cats will take a 9-6-2 record into District 12-4A play tomorrow when they travel to Paris (11-7). The JV game starts at 5 p.m., with the varsity contest to begin at 7 p.m.

Sulphur Springs will be looking to make its sixth consecutive trip to the playoffs. Texas High (15-2), which returns all nine starters from the team that made it to the regional finals last season, is the district favorite.

"We're really looking forward to starting district this week," McCullough said. "I noticed in the Dallas Morning News that five of the top 10 teams in the Dallas area, we've already played this year. So, hopefully, the competition we're playing right now will prepare us for what we'll see in district.

"I know we've played a tougher schedule than anybody."

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